Passion is defined as “intense, driving, or overmastering feeling.” This passion that is described is the intensity that happens in an athlete’s life. The blood, sweat, and tears that happen over the years give these athletics the drive to keep going on in their sport life. But, is passion enough when it comes to the college they will be attending? Will the athletics be given all the opportunities that is possible? The athletes furthering their career is based on the college. This becomes a choice between a D1 or a D2 school.
In 1906, the Intercollegiate Athletic Association was formed, better known now as the National Collegiate National Association. It was created for the competition between the different sports team, and for the eligibility rules for a sport. The association is for men’s and women’s sports. With this association, it helps enforces rules for each sport and the criteria for a sport the athlete wants to play. In 1973, the National Collegiate Athletic Association divided into three divisions, in which division one is the highest level. Universities choose which division they would like to be a part of, when it comes to championships and tournaments. With each division, one lacks what the other doesn’t and others are bigger than what could be imagined.
Division I is the highest level in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. This division is normally held at the largest universities in the country. The schools compete in over 14 sports, have great world class facilities, great coaches and staff, athletes with an outstanding athletic ability, and these schools receive the most attention in the media. In the last school year from 2016-2017, there have been a total of 351 colleges and universities from 49 out of 50 states.
The qualifications of a Division I university is based on academic requirements, and – of course skill. The National Collegiate Athletic Association has two types of qualifiers: the full qualifier and the academic redshirt. The qualifications needed to be a full qualifier in division one are completing 16 courses, 10 of those courses must be completed before your senior year, seven of the courses must be in English, Math, or Science, a minimum gpa of 2.3, meet the requirement for the ACT and SAT, and more importantly graduate from high school. The qualifications needed to be an academic redshirt are completing 16 core classes, minimum core gpa of 2.0, meet the redshirt requirement for the ACT and SAT and most of all graduate high school. If none of these qualifications are met, then you won’t be eligible to play a sport.
Division I universities have the largest budgets for their athletics and offer the most scholarships to athletes. These universities that are of Division I “commit to maintaining a high academic standard for student-athletes in addition to a wide range of opportunities for athletics participation.” (http://www.ncaa.org/about?division=d1)
With over 350 Division I schools, thy provide over 170,000 opportunities for student-athletes to compete in the NCAA each year. Division II has similar characteristics, but it isn’t as big as Division I.
Division II is the intermediate-level division in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Division II has 306 colleges and universities, in which these schools are in 44 of the 50 states. As of the last school year of 2016-2017, there are 12 more schools that will be classifying themselves as Division II schools in the next year. Athletes in Division II are picked for their athletic contributions, academic success, and the success in their communities. Athletes in Division II are just as competitive and qualified just like Division I, but the financial resources are limited for Division II, in which Division I has a lot more financial resources.
Division II schools are smaller than Division I schools. When it comes to scholarships, student athletes have to depend on a combination of athletic and educational scholarships to finance their tuition. With new rules for eligibility in Division II, to be qualified you need to have a minimum gpa of 2.2, and allows lower standardized test scores to be offset by the high core courses. The enrollments at Division II schools range from more than 25,000 to less than 2,500. That’s some good numbers for a Division II school. Division II has some great qualities for its student athletes, but the lowest level would be Division III were there aren’t any financial resources.
Division III is the smallest but largest division in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Division III makes up 450 institution which consists of 180,000 student athletes. These institutions coming from 35 out of the 50 states, and the District of Columbia. Division III is the smallest when it comes to the financial resources, in this division since they aren’t allowed to offer athletic scholarships. The National Collegiate Athletic Association describes the Division III experience as “participation competitive athletic environment that pushes the student athletes to excel on the field and build upon their potential by tackling new challenges around the campus.”
The primary focus for Division III student athletes is to help minimize the conflicts between athletic events and academics. With the focus primarily on academics, it helps the student athletics get geared up and be more focused for graduation. Division III schools have shorter practices, playing seasons, and regional competitions. With the shortness of seasons, it helps these athletes feel like students and are able to participate in the things they like. Division III is a good division for athletes that care more about their acadamics rather than their athletic abilities.